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Global Fixed Income team

Meet the team

The Co-Heads of the Global Fixed Income team are Phil Milburn and Donald Phillips, who joined Liontrust to set up the team in early 2018. They were joined by Emma Veitch on 12 July 2022 with Sharmin Rahman moving to Liontrust to join the team on 1 August 2022. Before joining Liontrust, Phil had spent over 20 years at Kames Capital, launching one of the market’s first strategic bond funds in 2003 and developing a leading high-yield franchise. Phil graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1996 with a first-class MA in Economics. Donald had worked with Phil at Kames Capital for three years from 2005 to 2008, before moving to Baillie Gifford where he managed investments prior to joining Liontrust. Donald had been co-managing the European high-yield strategy at Baillie Gifford since 2010. More recently, he had been involved in the portfolio construction of a US high-yield fund. Sharmin joined from AXA Investment Managers where she had been a Senior Portfolio Manager and Analyst in the European High Yield team since July 2012, having 14 years’ experience in total. Sharmin had assisted with the management of portfolios with more than €2 billion in assets. Emma returned to the fund management industry at the start of 2022 after a career break to raise her family and work in volunteer roles. Emma’s previous role in asset management was as Senior Investment Analyst of UK companies at Aegon Asset Management from October 1993 to July 2000. Her volunteer roles included being Orchestra Manager of the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra. 

 

Our investment process

The process is designed to take advantage of inefficiencies in fixed income markets through a thorough understanding of the economic environment and detailed bottom up stock analysis.
The process uses the same framework to garner a thorough understanding of the economic environment and for bottom up stock analysis: fundamentals, valuations and technicals (FVT). 
These three factors are examined regardless of whether the managers are considering a duration position or an investment in a speculative grade rated company. In judging whether a company is attractive long-term investment, the managers analyse the following factors, which they call PRISM.
  • Protections: operational and contractual, such as structure and covenants
  • Risks: credit, business and market
  • Interest cover: leverage and other key ratios
  • Sustainability: of cash flows and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors
  • Motivations: of management and shareholders
 

Funds managed by the team

The fund managers believe fixed income markets are inefficient and there are myriad ways of adding value to investors’ portfolios. The inefficiencies are caused by many market protagonists who are not price sensitive, ranging from the macroeconomic distortions caused by central banks to the idiosyncratic scenarios when companies need to raise debt finance and price accordingly.

"During longer periods of market stress, our mantra of ‘large, liquid, listed’ means we expect to be less impacted than many during such periods. Such periods bring about valuation opportunities as the compensation for future defaults – the spread – often overreacts."

Awards and ratings

FMOYA High Yield Bond - Highly commended Investment Week Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2022 £ High Yield Bond
Citywire fund manager rating Citywire Manager Rating: + Phil Milburn & David Roberts